Experiences of Marriage and Family Therapists Working with Intimate Partner Violence


abuse, couple therapy, intimate partner violence, therapists' experiences


The purpose of our study was to explore the experiences of marriage and family therapists in working with violent couples. In particular, we focused on therapists' questions and feelings of competency pertaining to violence assessment and treatment, the difficulties they face during their practices, and the factors that affect their practice. Data for this study were collected via a focus group that lasted approximately 1 hour. The participants included five marriage and family therapists. A set of questions were used to explore experiences of therapists who were working with clients who are experiencing domestic violence. The research team recorded the answers to these questions as well as associated discussion. A grounded theory approach was used to analyze the data. Six themes were derived from the coded data: acknowledgment and reliance on systemic foundations, therapist factors, assessment, treatment considerations, sex of batterers, and training in marriage and family therapy programs.

Original Publication Citation

Karakurt, G., Dial, S., Korkow, H., Mansfield, T., & Banford, A.(2013). Experiences ofMFTs working with intimate partner violence. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 24, 1-16. doi: 10.1080/08975353.2013.762864

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Journal of Family Psycholtherapy




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor